Voters have delivered a stark message directly to the Tories’ front door [IMAGES]

DPAC Tories Main Two
Support us and go ad-free

On Tuesday 2 May, a group of voters gave a stark warning to Theresa May, right outside parliament and Tory HQ. And it’s one that she’d do well to heed, as the message represents around 12 million people who will be voting in the general election on 8 June.

“Grave” and “systematic” human rights abuses

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) organised a protest opposite parliament. Its message was a simple one: to #TrashTheTories in the upcoming election. And asking people to remember, when voting, #NotTheFuckingTories.

But the reason behind DPAC’s message was what the UN described as “grave” and “systematic” violations of disabled people’s human rights. All committed by the Conservatives.

Since the Tories first came to power in 2010, deaf, disabled and sick people, including those living with mental health issues, have been the subject of countless benefit cuts. The UN also says they have also been “disproportionately” affected by successive governments imposing years of austerity. And nearly half of all poverty in the UK is directly linked to disability.

So members and supporters of DPAC decided to raise awareness of just what the Tories have done to their community.

Trash May. Trash the Tories.

Around 80-100 disabled people and their supporters gathered outside parliament. They wore T-shirts saying “Who 2 Vote 4? #NotTheFuckingTories”. Members of the Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN) were also present:

DPAC Tories One

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The protesters then marched from parliament to Conservative Party Central Office. Chants of “Tories! Out!” and “We Are All Daniel Blake!” were directed at the office:

DPAC Tories Three

Paula Peters from DPAC’s steer group had this to say to the Tories inside:

An arm of the Tories?

The police were present, and many protesters felt that the five police vans and around 30 uniformed officers were unnecessarily heavy-handed:

DPAC Tories Tow

Protesters then moved back to Westminster, where they blocked the main road outside parliament for around 90 minutes. The police made repeated attempts to threaten disabled people with arrest. But none were made. Many protesters were also speaking to passers by, explaining why the action was taking place. The protesters were peaceful, but resolute in their action:

DPAC Tories Five

Nicola Jeffery from the DPAC steer group had this to say to one uniformed officer:

Tory cuts

Since 2010, the Tories have cut, among other things:

  • The Independent Living Fund (ILF), which previously supported people with care packages. Since the government cut it, in some areas 88% of people have seen their care packages reduced by up to 50%.
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for sick and disabled people in the Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG) by a third. This will affect 500,000 people.
  • 55% a week from ESA for sick and disabled 18-to-25-year-olds.
  • 51,000 disabled people’s Motability vehicles, which were vital for them to live independently.
  • Personal Independence Payments (PIP) from 164,000 people living with mental health issues. And the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has reduced or stopped PIP for nearly half (45%) of all claimants.

Disabled people under attack

But it’s not just Tory cuts that have hit sick and disabled people so hard. For example:

  • The DWP was caught up in a scandal involving fit-for-work assessors asking people why they hadn’t “killed” themselves.
  • A study found that the DWP fit-for-work assessments caused people permanent mental health damage.
  • 62% of people the DWP sanctions live with mental health issues.
  • 10,600 people died after their benefit claims ended.
  • 90 people a month are dying after the DWP declares them ‘fit-for-work’.
  • 590 people may have taken their own life due, in part, to DWP fit-for-work tests.

Disabled people have suffered terribly at the hands of the Tories. And DPAC and the MHRN have been at the forefront of campaigning to expose just what successive governments have done to their communities. But at the election on 8 June, people have a chance to make their voices heard. And the campaigners’ message is clear: vote for anyone, but not the Tories.

Get Involved!

Register to vote in the 8 June general election. If you don’t have a national insurance number, a five minute phone call on 0300 200 3500 will get it sent to you in ten days.

– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.

Read more from The Canary on the 2017 general election. And support DPAC.

Featured image via The Canary/Flickr

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed